Restaurants around the world for special occasions (3)
There're restaurants and restaurants and - elBulli. The world of its own. Nested in Roses in Spanish region of Catalonia on the Costa Brava near Barcelona, Restaurant Magazine judged elBulli the best restaurant in the world a record five times. And it all began 1961 with humble idea of two to build mini-golf course and serve simple dishes.
French chef Jean-Louis Neichel brought elBulli the first Michelin star, a good voice started to spread and with it the second Michelin star was awarded and unfortunately lost. Then Ferran Adria entered elBulli, reclaimed the star and won the third one. True holidays for all your senses, 27 courses, each and every enriched with explosive flavours, colours, shapes, textures and contrast of temperatures, that's elBulli, not a restaurant but a way of understanding life.
Pistachios covered in yoghurt, then caramel filled with squash seed oil, curry-flavoured zucchini seed risotto with capsules of peanut oil, popcorn cloud, peanut and chocolate, mango sorbet sandwiches... It will take you six hours to go through the entire meal and you will enjoy every minute. ElBulli has a limited season, this year from June to December. It gets more than two million requests and accommodates only 8,000 diners a season. Bookings for the next year are taken on a single day after the closing of the season, this year that will be December 21. Note that date, send the e-mail and enjoy in culinary art.
Franschhoek Pass, South Africa
La Petite Ferme
Franschhoek Valley is considered as one of the most beautiful wine valleys in the world, nested just 45 minutes from Cape Town, South Africa. It is also food and wine capital of the country with more award-winning restaurants than anything else in the country. Our choice: La Petite Ferme, a small wine farm with a family-run restaurant situated on the Franschhoek Pass.
The restaurant has all-weather veranda with magnificent view over the valley and a charming luxury suits in a case you decide to enjoy La Petite Ferme's hospitality. The suits have underfloor heating, hefty fireplaces, wooden furniture and each has a private plunge pool, while nearest Franschhoek offers galleries and shops. All in all, visit Franschhoek could be holiday for all your senses.
Head chef Olivia Mitchell and sous chef Carina Bouwer are heart and soul of La Petite Ferme restaurant. They choice: a bit of African, Malay and Asian influence plus award-winning wines from the private La Petite Ferme's cellar. Taste braised rabbit with a wholegrain mustard sauce served with parmesan centred, herbed polenta and honey roasted parsnips or oven roasted lamb shank with a parsley rosotto topped with caramelized onions and a port jus. For dessert: White hot chocolate shot with naartjie and raspberry swirl accompanied by a dark chocolate tart and marinated berries. Definitely worth a visit.
Armed with just a small suitcase and a love for food Tetsuya Wakuda changed his hometown Hamamatsu for Sydney at the age of twenty-two. Just a year later he joined Kinsela's restaurant to make sushi, learned the classical French technique along the way, realized that he is good in what he is doing, than he opened his own Tetsuya's restaurant and shortly after Tetsuya's became a place not to be missed for a serious food lover. Australia loves his style and passion, professional chefs confess that Tetsuya's influenced their approaches to food.
Tetsuya's serves a thirteen course menu and if you choose a table in one of two large dining rooms you will be awarded with a stunning look on the Japanese garden. Start your dish with this gamely combination: chilled cold corn soup with saffron and vanilla ice cream and continue with smoked ocean trout and avruga caviar. Worth tasting, that's for sure, or you can taste grilled fillet of barramundi with braised baby fennel and twice cooked de-boned spatchcock with foie gras and gobo. For a desert take an interesting combination of chocolate ganache with green tea and red beans.
Tetsuya's is located in the centre of Sydney, just minutes walk from Darling Harbour and the Sydney Town Hall. It is opened for dinner Tuesday to Saturday from 6pm and for lunch Saturday only from noon. ■